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mwiz64
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So I picked up a 1:20.3 Climax on Ebay and it just arrived. It's my very first anything large scale oriented and I'm not a seasoned model railroader by any stretch of the imagination. I have an old MRC Tech II 2400 transformer. Will that make it go, even a little bit or do I need something more?

Here is why, I want to run the engine now because I want to know if what I bought works and.... I'm a little kid about it and I wanna see it go. Eventually, it will be battery powered and run outside but right now, I need a quick fix.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Mike

Last edited on Thu Mar 29th, 2012 07:10 pm by mwiz64

Toeffelholm
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????
Mike,

why don't you take a piece of track, two wires and your transformer and just try?

Juergen

mwiz64
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I don't have any track yet. I went to the LHS and they couldn't answer my question. I think I'll bring what I have to the LHS tomorrow and see if we can figure it out. I just hate the idea of buying an expensive transformer just to test the thing knowing that I'll never really use it for anything else.

Like you said, I can also buy a little track for now and give it a try. I just dont want to smoke something in my ignorance.

Mike

W C Greene
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Mike-your MRC power pack should be OK to test the Climax with. I ran a 3 truck Shay with sound using an old Bachmann "Spectrum" power pack from an On30 set and it did just fine. You might need a bit more than 12 volts DC to make her "git" but what you have is fine. I would buy some track however, you need to see her run on track anyway. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Woodie

mwiz64
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I'm taking it into the LHS tomorrow on my lunch hour. When I'm there I'm going to get some track. Say, is 8 bucks about right for a single 1' section of track? That's a little higher than I might have expected. If so, is it cheaper to lay your own track? And lastly, is laying track this big hard to do?

UNCLE BOB
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You really don't have to have track to test the engine.  Turn it upside down on a pillow or something and touch bare leads from your power supply, one to a wheel on one side, the other to a wheel on the other side. (with throttle on about half)

Be sure your leads are connected to the " to track" terminals, not "accessorys"

BTW, when you get around to the battery power, be sure to disconnect the pick up leads or you will back power onto the track.

HAVE FUN!  :thumb:

Bob

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mwiz64 wrote: Is it cheaper to lay your own track? And lastly, is laying track this big hard to do?

Are you planning on an indoor or an outdoor layout?  Hand laying indoors is pretty easy but outdoors there is usually nothing solid to attach the ties to and you thus have to spike the rail to each tie (at the work bench) which is tedious.  Also, even if you saw your own ties, you still have to buy the rail and spikes so the savings over 6ft flex track is not that great.

(Bob)

mwiz64
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Well to start with I may do a small diorama. We are just now in the talking/planning stage with the back yard project.

mwiz64
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Alright... We ran the Climax at the LHS today on their test track. I picked up 2 packages of Bachmann straight track or 8 pieces for $55. That's really the killer of large scale, isn't it? Track is outrageous. If there is any savings to laying my own, even out doors, I'm going to do it. If nothing else, I'll lay out pieces of treated plywood to nail it to.

OH.... I almost forgot. The Climax looks and runs great. It's as smooth as a babies butt from a crawl up to a fairly good speed.

Last edited on Fri Mar 30th, 2012 05:46 pm by mwiz64

W C Greene
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Mike-yes, G gauge track is very costly. You might get a "break" if you do handlay your own. If you own some shop tools like a table saw or band saw then you could make your own ties from redwood or another weather resistant wood. As for spiking, many years ago, my friend Mopman and I built a portable (with forklifts and sore backs) G scale exhibition layout with handlaid track. With proper tools, the job was not all that hard. Instead of spikes, we used small finishing brads driven in with a pneumatic nail gun and the work went quite fast. The turnouts (switches) were made using cut off wheels (in an air grinder) and large pliers and a vise. We had access to these tools, if we hadn't, then we might have not done the work. LGB used to make (maybe still does) tie stock and 6 foot pieces of rail which cost a bundle but was still cheaper than ready made track. The switches are the big cost factor, if you can build a nice line with few of them, you can save a bunch. You mentioned using onboard batteries and r/c...then you could make the track from wood, all painted up, it would look just fine and without needing power on the rails (outside that is a cause for real problems), you could really "go to town" . Think about that idea, it is being used right now on several outdoor layouts. Good luck and keep us posted.

Woodie

mwiz64
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Wood track... humm... Is there anyone that makes/sells wood rails? I can make the ties and I already planned of using just a few turnouts. They could be commercial offerings and then just painted to match the wood stuff. Interesting... I'll have to think a little more about this.

W C Greene
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http://4largescale.com/fletch/d40.htm   Check this out. You may find it interesting.

 

Woodie

mwiz64
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I saw that. That's not an affordable solution, IMHO. It's very cool just not what I'm looking for. It appears that I can buy PIKO track on line for about $5/ft. That's still expensive but its a lot cheaper than $8/10" for the LGB stuff at the LHS. It also doesn't look like the hand laid stuff is any savings over the PIKO track so that's probably what I'm going to go with. Or... I may just dump the idea of doing an outdoor RR. I never thought in a million years that the track would be that expensive. That's what I get for being impulsive... but damn, I love that Climax engine.
I dunno... I'll have to do some re-thinking.

mwiz64
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Ran the Climax at home for the wife and grandson. We're hooked on these big scale trains. Whatever it takes... The RR itself might take a smaller form than I had originally envisioned but I'm not going back down in size. These guys are just too cool. And one of tHe other benefits according to my wife. These don't crash into a million pieces like my planes sometimes do.

dmunseyjr
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Take a look at the first version of Bruce Chandler's Jackson & Burke railway. It is simple, but has operational potential - a very inspirational first layout. Then, take a look at where the J&B is today!

Last edited on Sat Mar 31st, 2012 12:59 am by dmunseyjr

mwiz64
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That is a nice looking garden railroad. Say, is the all plastic Lionel Ggauge track any good or is it junk.

W C Greene
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You mention plastic track...you might check the Tuesday Morning stores, a friend bought a bunch of New Brite plastic G Gauge track for just a few bucks at one of their stores. I don't know how well it holds up outside, but it does look like track. Maybe if it was sprayed with Rustoleum paint it would take the weather?? Just another crackpot idea.

Woodie

chasv
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i have been experimenting with wood rail it doesn't look like real rail but at this point it doesn't matter you can get a down load of a left and right switch from garden railway can't find the address at the moment. the hard part is throwing the points. in my gallery there are a couple of pictures of a switch i was working on before i found the down load which is full size. i got a b'man set at the swapmeet and a circle of track is not enough.

mwiz64
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Clem,

Your website doesn't work well with an iPad... Just to let you know.

Anyway, were you referring to the Llagas Creek brand of aluminum rail track? I haven't seen it as low as $2/ft but it's considerably cheaper than the stuff I've been looking at. Is it any good?

W C Greene
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Two bucks per foot is pretty good...check it out.

Woodie

wrlw
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We use the AL and RC (airwire) for all locos we run out side and yes it is Llagas Creek.  CLEM

mwiz64
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Woodie, You're right and I'm going to.

Clem, I'll be giving you a call.

Last edited on Sun Apr 1st, 2012 12:35 am by mwiz64

mwiz64
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Well, that was short lived. Decided against doing the outdoor railroad after all. It didn't lay out well with the rest of the garden plans. Plus, this is Michigan and if I can only have one railroad it had better be inside where I can enjoy it during the winter months. So, the Climax is up for sale on Ebay. I'm going to build indoors in On30 instead.


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